By Hallie Gordon
Byram Hills High School welcomes the new Freshmen class of 2023 to high school! The Freshmen’s transition from middle to high school can be quite overwhelming and challenging at times, but also comes with plenty of new freedoms. The high school has created the Freshmen mentor program to alleviate some of this stress in the transition. This mentor class is designed where one Freshmen class of about 20 kids is assigned one female and one male senior mentor. These mentors are responsible for creating fun activities for the class, putting together lessons, and being approachable for any questions or concerns from the Freshmen.
Freshman Jackson Frankel was interviewed to share his thoughts about the transition between schools and how his mentor experience has been thus far. Jackson shares that there is definitely a greater sense of freedom in high school compared to the middle school. This includes being able to carry your backpack around your classes and the ability to go on your phone between classes in the hallway. In the mentor class, Jackson mentions that they have done really fun icebreakers and “One thing [he] really enjoyed was the scavenger hunt because it was fun, but [he] also got to know the school better.” Lastly, Jackson feels that the mentor program has allowed his transition to be much easier, “Just because my mentors are such an easy source to go to if I have any questions about anything.”
In addition, Freshman Aliza Hammond explains her positive experience with the program as well. Aliza feels that the main differences between the two schools is the removal of the team system, shorter lunches, very crowded hallways, and gym with other grades. Aliza has greatly enjoyed mentor, specifically making signs for teams of homecoming and yogi ball scrimmages. Aliza claims, “I love my mentors Amanda Tuzzo and Jake Wild.” Aliza feels the mentors are a great resource because they were so welcoming and have lots of knowledge about the school.
Lastly, Sam Gershuny shares her opinion on the transition and the mentor program. Sam feels that some changes between the two schools include having free periods, higher expectations from teachers, new types of classes and courses, two lunches with different grades, and a sense of community. Sam states, “Everyday in mentor we learn something new about our school community and I have two amazing mentors who I can look up to.”
Overall, mentor appears to be an extremely beneficial and worthwhile experience for the Freshmen to adjust to the many differences between the middle and high school. Further, the mentor program allows for the seniors to gain leadership skills and become tremendous role models for the grades below them. Mentor is a safe space for the Freshmen where they can learn lots of different lessons that are beneficial to them throughout high school and life.
Senior Mentors at Homecoming!!